Solar

British Group Wants Tax to Help Renewable Energy

One of the larger environmental groups in Britain wants oil companies to be taxed on their profits and the revenue to be invested in renewable energy.

LONDON, England, UK, 2001-06-13 [SolarAccess.com] One of the larger environmental groups in Britain wants oil companies to be taxed on their profits and the revenue to be invested in renewable energy. Oil companies have made record profits in the past year as world prices rise “despite selling products which damage our climate at prices that hurt the rural poor,” says Charles Secrett, executive director of Friends of the Earth. Chancellor Gordon Brown should impose a windfall tax on oil company profits and to spend the revenues on renewable energy and public transport. British Prime Minister Tony Blair reorganized his Cabinet after his recent re-election, and FOE notes that environment issues are moved out of the Department of Environment, Transport & the Regions and into an enlarged Agriculture Ministry. The move leaves key environment decisions in Stephen Byers’ Transport Department, which is responsible for planning and other key areas. “No Whitehall structure is ever perfect,” says Secrett. “But this new structure raises vital questions about this government’s approach to environmental issues. How can planning decisions be green if they are no longer taken by the environment department?” “Labour’s green record so far has been mediocre,” he adds. “Will the new Whitehall shove the environment even further down the priority list?”